tv [untitled] September 25, 2012 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT
>> thanks everyone. my purpose is mostly to be here to thank all of you for coming, so we have this opportunity to kind of examine what is going on in our real estate environment, and in particular, to thank the san francisco business times for putting on this event. and i think for most of us in this room, we rely very heavily on the san francisco business times to keep track of what is going on in san francisco, and the greater bay area, in the real estate world. and it is the best source of that information for all of us. mary asked me if i would make a few observations about the general state of the real
estate economy here in san francisco and as i do that, i always have to think about what to say that mary hasn't already said about it. and if you look at the real estate economy generally in our nation, and the fact that it is still soft. that we still need more jobs. that there is a recovery, but it's a slow recovery. you can't do that without thinking gee, will i sound like a politician for one or the other major political parties? and so i will steer clear of that and focus instead on san francisco and maybe we're living in a bubble, but it's a pretty wonderful bubble to be living in. the real question is the resurgence of real estate we're seeing now, is that sustained growth? is that just, you know, for the moment?
but as i look at it, we're putting in place an awful lot of things that shape what our city looks like in the future, how our city operates, how we interact with our city. as i started to think about that, i thought, you know, the number of major infrastructure projects going on in our immediate region now are probably -- there are probably more dollars and energy going into that than any time since bart was put through the city. you have the eastern span of the bay bridge. you have the transbay terminal. you have the central subway project. you have the improvement realignment of doyle drive. all of these things are part of the hard wiring of our city that is going to influence the way in which we all interact with it. over the last, say, five to ten
years, we have watched as development and interest and people have moved south of market, into mission bay, below that we now that is continuing and we now have projects on the table like the pier 70 project, which ten years ago no one would have thought was a viable mixed-use project, because nobody went there. and that part of it is no longer true. i think, you know, for all of the things that are going on in the new building that is in the ground, that is on the books, that is likely to happen this time around, both in terms of offices and housing, i think what i see as different is a difference in approach. we all know that it's being driven by what the demographers
are now referring to as "the urban tech." the social media companies, the high-tech companies, the creative workforces, who now want to live and work in urban environments, interact with their environments instead of work in suburban campuses that are fairly sterile and isolated. and that phenomenon has been going on to some time, but what really brought home some of the changes to me was a talk i heard earlier this week by alexa arena talking about the 5m project at 6th and mission, the conversion of the chronicle building and plant surrounding areas. and she talked about the design process as being one of going
out to constituencies, potential constituencies, focus groups, listening to people, trying to find out what they were looking for in collaborative, interactive work environments. and bringing the city into those work environments, and the connection and the need for amenities like cultural amenities and the arts and food and all of those kinds of things. and so instead of it being design professionals and people in the real estate industry sort of imposing on the world what they think the world wants, it is sort of coming the other direction. if that is, in fact, a new trend, i was not the only person who left that room sort of saying, gee, i feel old, you know? in terms of this is a whole new way in which we're going to now
be doing our business in the real estate industry? and i think today's speakers are going to focus on various parts of all of that. and i think that is a large part of what makes san francisco such an exciting environment now. so thank you everybody. [ applause ] >> thank you and thanks again to shephard mullen. so i'm not going to take a lot of time with the mayor's introduction, because i want to give him all the time and i know he has a busy schedule, but we do appreciate that he has continued our tradition of every year having our mayor speak at this event and sharing the vision, his vision for the future, focusing on some of the projects. he has a great presentation. we're excited and i know you will learn quite a bit and hopefully be very inspired by it as well. i have to say when i hear mayor
lee speak i always come away with a lot of optimism and confidence that the city is really moving forward. so we ask him to join us this morning and really kind of take us on a tour and tell us a little bit about what it's going to take to take some of these projects to fruition. so please welcome our wonderful mayor edwin lee, someone we're very proud of to have as our leader. mayor lee. [ applause ] >> thank you, mary and thank you very much. good morning >> good morning. >> well, i am very happy to be here today to address you and i do, as joan was talking, as mary was reporting earlier, i do remember a year-ago having been before you that we had just in addition, to the projects that we had talked about, we had just closed out a $385 million deficit.
we had introduced pension reform as we talked about it at that time to get the city in better economic gear. we had also chosen a new police chief by a year-ago and excited to see what that was. and then supervisor kim and i and david chiu had been fresh off of helping the company called twitter sustain the city and i want to thank supervisor kim, who is here today and we're working closely together to make sure we're doing it right. that all of the impacts that we can generate positively, not only on central market, but throughout her district and throughout the city. i also want to acknowledge other people that are working really hard, because my feeling in a year-ago was that after all of those things that we did, and the work that we had done that first year, rest was
my major focus. and after i met with you last year, rest was not on the agenda. absolutely not. in fact, we had gone right to work because there were so many of you who had also felt that the city could turnaround. you have given me and our staff investor confidence in this city as we move forward and there are so many things to report on. and i couldn't get much rest because i had a lot of other people who wanted to get to work as well. in the audience you have people like rodney fong and every time i look at his stacks that he brings into city hall every thursday to review all of the files you can't help, but to say if he isn't going to rest i'm got no going to rest.
john nagucchi at the tourism bureau, they are not resting and you have doreen woo ho at the part and america's cup and the whole staff working because waterfront, that is where it's happening. and so they are not resting. let me tell you the results of not resting for a year. san francisco businesses have created 22,500 jobs in last year. including 13 new jobs in the technology sector alone. unemployment during the last two years when i first began as your interim mayor went from 9.6 to 7.6, two full digit points during that time. to translate that means 25,000 san franciscans are back to work this last year. and according to the recent
department of labor report, san francisco, the metropolitan area had the strongest job growth in the last 12 months ending in july of 2012, and let me repeat, the strongest job growth in the country. no. 1 in the nation. [ applause ] thanks to all of you. and i also want to just share with you something that supervisors and i have been discussing intently. because i know joan was going through a lot of the projects and so was mary and when we're investing in the brook and mortar and developments to also be sure, i think the most dynamic part of what our city is doing is that we're investing in our people. we're making sure that san franciscans not only go to work, but they are part of and engaged with us in all of these
developments. and that, to me, is refreshing and new, because that keeps us going when our own folks, people who live around the neighborhoods and people engaged in these developments help us do and get to the goal. in commercial real estate, the city experienced the strongest absorption rates since 1988 last year. this year we're looking to best ourselves with 780,000 square feet of positive absorption. don't let me tell you what the data is, because i think you can see it, if you drive around and see all of the different construction cranes. well, actually, if you try to drive around. [ laughter ] because i know there is a little frustration, but hopefully when you are stalled in there and seeing these cranes and all of the construction and orange and yellow, you will know it's
really worth it for the city to get better and stronger. we are in a construction boom and i just want to thank all of the construction companies here today. ones that do both interior and exterior, you are doing a great job and we're working with you to keep the city safe as we do these fantastic construction projects. we have been successful because we created the conditions to give investors and entrepreneurs confidence in our city, allowing them innovate, to grow and create jobs and whether they are in the neighborhoods, small businesses or international clean tech or new technological companies we are with them creating confidence in our city. investors are also confident because san francisco is also now financially responsible more so than years in the past, because we have done the right things with the cooperation between the mayor's office and the board to get our financial house in order and to make sure pension reform is done and structure restorms are done in
our budget. we're not going to rest on today's success. we are planning for the future and we're ensuring that our city remains strong and successful and solvent. and we want to make sure that we continue to be the innovation capital of world. for the first time in years we have had a lot of unity to account for and to move our city forward. business and labor, the mayor, and the board of supervisors, we have all been coming together on issues that affect all of us, tax reform, housing, fixing our parks and open space, fixing our streets. this year we have come together in an unprecedented way to put these issues to the ballot, because we agree it's the right time for smart and long-term investment in our city and in housing and in parks and in tax reform. together we're putting people back to work and building our city at the same time.
now it's time to reform our tax structure. a lot of people ask me, well, mayor, what is this business tax reform? what is it all about? it's very complicated. well, i will tell them it's about real people, about business, and about real jobs. because it's now that we're the only city in the state of california that has a payroll tax, literally a tax on job-creation. it doesn't make sense. so i'm happy to report that we at last are reforming our business tax structure to stop taxing jobs. and help companies large and small to stay here, to grow here, and to continue starting here as well. we need to protect existing jobs and we need to spur job-creation. our consensus measure, which is by the way proposition e on the ballot this year will generate new revenue for housing, economic development and
critical infrastructure like muni and roads and, in fact, it received 100% agreement with the board of supervisors. and because of growing and vibrant economy requires growing and diverse supply of new housing, we have also agreed on a housing trust fund, creating a permanent source of revenue to fund the production of housing in san francisco. it will ensure our city continues to be a viable place for everyone to live at every different economic spectrum. i remain committed to stabilizing and increasing middle to low-income housing, because building more affordable housing and middle-class housing will build our economy and grow jobs and help families stay in san francisco. and we need to continue to invest in infrastructure needed in our city. san francisco needs quality
parks and open spaces for its residents, and families. so parks and open spaces are our most unique and precious assets. you visit any major city in the country, you will know that they are proud of their parks and so are we. and so proposition b on the ballot is our parks and open space bond for $195 million. and it's a great synergism as we identify open spaces that improve both settings for not only our visitors, but for familis to visit as well. we all know if you don't fix it today, you will pay for it in the long run. aging infrastructure exacerbates costs and stretches resources and we need to do it strategically and i have been very proud of all the city departments, all